ELON, N.C. – Freshman Brie Perpignan scored a career-best 20 points, but the Elon University women’s basketball team could not keep up with a hot shooting Delaware team in the second half as the Blue Hens defeated the Phoenix, 74-63, in a Colonial Athletic Association contest on Sunday, Feb. 3, inside Schar Center.
Delaware (10-11, 5-4 CAA) shot 53.6 percent (15-of-28) from the floor in the second half and was 6-of-7 from three. Elon (7-13, 2-7 CAA) could not keep with the pace, shooting only 34.3 percent from the floor in the final 20 minutes and was 3-of-10 from deep.
Perpignan scored in double figures for the sixth time this season as the first-year guard was 7-of-13 from the floor and 6-of-7 from the free throw line. The Alexandria, Va., native also added a team-best four assists and a couple of steals. Jaylin Powell added 12 points and was 3-of-6 from downtown as the only other double figure scorer for the Phoenix.
The Blue Hens were led by Samone DeFreese’s 16 points and 12 rebounds. She also added six assists to her stat line. DeFresse was one of four double-digit scorers for Delaware along with Abby Gonzales (15), Alison Lewis (13) and Rebecca Lawrence (10).
Both teams traded baskets in the opening four and a half minutes of the game, but Delaware went on a 6-0 run to move ahead 10-4. The Blue Hens swelled its lead to as big as eight points in the opening quarter, 16-8, after a Lewis free throw, but a Powell three-pointer right as the quarter came to an end closed the Phoenix’s gap to five, 16-11.
Powell’s three-pointer sparked a 12-0 run for the Phoenix going into the second as Elon moved ahead, 20-16, after a couple of free throws from Anna Popovic. Delaware responded with a 5-0 run to move back in front, 21-20, before Perpignan tied the game by splitting a pair at the charity stripe. The contest would be tightly contested for the remainder of the half as neither moved ahead by no more than three points with Elon escaping to the locker room with a one-point advantage, 31-30.
The Phoenix’s Emily Maupin scored the first five points for Elon to start the second half, including converting an old-fashioned three-point play at the 9:08 mark that put Elon up 36-32. The Blue Hens then went on a 16-2 run to take a 10-point lead, 48-38, with 4:29 left in the quarter. A layup by Popovic and a Powell three-pointer cut Delaware’s lead in half, 48-43, but a short 5-2 run from the Blue Hens put Elon down by eight, 53-45, with 46 seconds left in the period. Elon cut the lead back down to five as Powell beat the quarter horn on a three to make the score 53-48 going into the fourth.
Delaware’s Makeda Nicholas hit a jumper to put the Blue Hens up by eight to start the fourth, but Popovic answered with a three on the next possession to bring the Phoenix within four, 55-51. Perpignan then stole the ball near the top of Delaware’s three-point line, drove the other way and made the layup while drawing the foul. She would convert the three-point play as Elon trailed by one, 55-54 with 8:05 left in the game.
The Blue Hens extended its lead back to three on a jumper by Lewis, but Perpignan brought Elon back within one, 57-56. After a Phoenix defensive stop, Elon had three chances on the other end to take the lead, but could not find that evasive go-ahead score. The Phoenix would struggle to get things going offensively as Delaware went on a 14-4 run over the next six-plus minutes to secure its victory, 74-63.
The Phoenix travels to UNCW on Friday, Feb. 8, for the first of a two-game road swing. That game is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.